Profiling dendritic cell subsets in head and neck squamous cell tonsillar cancer and benign tonsils.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Dendritic cells (DCs) have a key role in orchestrating immune responses and are considered important targets for immunotherapy against cancer. In order to develop effective cancer vaccines, detailed knowledge of the micromilieu in cancer lesions is warranted. In this study, flow cytometry and human transcriptome arrays were used to characterize subsets of DCs in head and neck squamous cell tonsillar cancer and compare them to their counterparts in benign tonsils to evaluate subset-selective biomarkers associated with tonsillar cancer. We describe, for the first time, four subsets of DCs in tonsillar cancer: CD123+ plasmacytoid DCs (pDC), CD1c+, CD141+, and CD1c-CD141- myeloid DCs (mDC). An increased frequency of DCs and an elevated mDC/pDC ratio were shown in malignant compared to benign tonsillar tissue. The microarray data demonstrates characteristics specific for tonsil cancer DC subsets, including expression of immunosuppressive molecules and lower expression levels of genes involved in development of effector immune responses in DCs in malignant tonsillar tissue, compared to their counterparts in benign tonsillar tissue. Finally, we present target candidates selectively expressed by different DC subsets in malignant tonsils and confirm expression of CD206/MRC1 and CD207/Langerin on CD1c+ DCs at protein level. This study descibes DC characteristics in the context of head and neck cancer and add valuable steps towards future DC-based therapies against tonsillar cancer.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology

Keywords

  • Cancer microenvironment, Head and neck cancer, Immunotherapy, Tumour immunology
Original languageEnglish
Article number8030
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number8030
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 23
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes